Sergio Perez has revealed his failure in undercutting Lewis Hamilton cost him a Hungarian Grand Prix podium.
The Mexican endured a testing weekend at the Hungaroring after a messy qualifying left him 11th on the grid as he chased balance in his Red Bull.
But Perez followed his team-mate Max Verstappen through the lower reaches of the top 10 in the early stages of the race to spark hope of a strong finish.
Verstappen was able to leap past Mercedes driver Hamilton during the first phase of pit stops after Red Bull pulled the trigger early and went on to take victory, but Perez was unable to do so, compromising his race and finishing fifth.
Asked if the first few laps were make or break for the race, Perez replied: "Not really.
"Especially boxing to undercut Hamilton was pretty important because he was really fast.
"Max managed to do that, I didn't. I just didn't manage to get the undercut on Lewis.
"On the second stint, we were looking to do the one-stop so we didn't push as hard. Towards the end, we had pretty good pace, especially in the cold weather, but unfortunately, I just missed out on the podium."
Perez was charging late on in the race but Valtteri Bottas' retirement in the closing laps triggered a virtual safety car, taking away time that could have been used to reel in the gap to George Russell and Carlos Sainz for an improved position.
"I think George and Carlos were a couple of seconds [ahead], without the VSC, we would have been a lot closer," explained Perez.
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes